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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 08-09-2011, 10:18 PM
jsleemd jsleemd is offline
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Driving in Europe has opened my eyes to US insanity

I just drove up and down I-5 from LA to SF this weekend and I can't believe the nation of lazy inconsiderate drivers all american's are becoming. Sure, I am used to the left lane hogs cruise controlled at the limit totally oblivious to any one behind them but it seems now that everyone is doing this. The right lane is for the 18 wheelers and RVs and old beat up trucks going steadily around the limit and the left lane is for all others forming a train going just barely above the limit. It used to be old men and mostly women( I know but it's true) but now it's dudes in their SUV's mindless plodding along. The only way to jump the train is to pass between openings in the right lane between the 18 wheelers and to make it worse these mindless drones all of a sudden decide to speed up and close the gaps so you can't go faster than them. Thank god for the mightly torque of the X5 35d which quickly gets you up to speed so you can pass them before they pull this move. Why can't we all use the left lane to pass and then get the f out of the way to let faster traffic through. In europe, on narrower roads and with same or more traffic, things move a heck of a lot faster and in much more safer fashion. One more rant, trucks hopping each other in the middle of this traffic so they can draft is really too dangerous. They should be restricted to 100kmh/60mph just like europe. it will be safer for us all and they will also save fuel. And no open truck beds with stuff that flies out which become dangerous flying debris. My dad almost died last year when a piece of metal flew out from a truck in front and hit his car on top of the grill. If it was only couple inches higher, it would had cracked his windshield and possilby killed him directly if not indirectly from an accident.
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2011, 06:13 AM
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All the above plus the friggin' 18 wheelers passing each other for a half mile per hour difference in speed.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:46 AM
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All the above plus the friggin' 18 wheelers passing each other for a half mile per hour difference in speed.
You see this in Germany on the two lane Autobahns, especially up large hills. It is called an elephant race.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mdsbuc View Post
All the above plus the friggin' 18 wheelers passing each other for a half mile per hour difference in speed.
I saw this in Europe too. I also experienced people that wouldn't pull over on a two lane stretch of Autobahn because they had just passed a truck and there was another truck 500 meters past that and another truck 500 meters past that. They were driving maybe 100 km/h. They could easily have pulled over, let me pass, and then pulled out to pass each successive truck without slowing down. German drivers are definitely better than US drivers but there are bonehead drivers everywhere.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SD 335is View Post
I saw this in Europe too. I also experienced people that wouldn't pull over on a two lane stretch of Autobahn because they had just passed a truck and there was another truck 500 meters past that and another truck 500 meters past that. They were driving maybe 100 km/h. They could easily have pulled over, let me pass, and then pulled out to pass each successive truck without slowing down. German drivers are definitely better than US drivers but there are bonehead drivers everywhere.
+1. I had the pleasure of traveling at about 200 kmh / 120 mph in the left lane in an unrestricted section of the German Autobahn when a car going at about 100 kmh / 60 mph decided to pull in front of me to pass a truck. I had to brake fairly firmly to avoid an accident. I thought only clueless American drivers did that, but as SD335is says, there are boneheads everywhere.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:38 AM
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Not much you can do about it. I've been barking up that tree for years. 100 mile ride on Autostrada took me roughly one hour (left lane all the way), in USA 100 mile ride on I-95 takes at least two.

I am pretty sure that 85% of US drivers don't even know that left lane is for faster moving traffic. Right lane passing is also annoying, I see the car flying in the back, I try to move right only to see him passing me on the right already, zero civility.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:38 AM
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Having driven all over the US and recently completed my ED, all I can say is that most American drivers are effing retarded.

My personal pet peeve are the a-holes who know there is an imminent lane merge coming and yet wait until the last possible second to merge and then try to force themselves into line. This causes more disruption to the flow of traffic and slows everyone down as everyone has to jam on the breaks. All so they can get some small smidgen of perceived advantage. Plus where I live (PHX) it seems like every one drives and enormous dooshy pick-up truck with massively oversized wheels that make 1980s caddies feel small on the road.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
My personal pet peeve are the a-holes who know there is an imminent lane merge coming and yet wait until the last possible second to merge and then try to force themselves into line. This causes more disruption to the flow of traffic and slows everyone down as everyone has to jam on the breaks. All so they can get some small smidgen of perceived advantage.
This is my biggest pet peeve. I go out of my way to cut these drivers off, which drives my wife batty.

I was actually pretty impressed driving back from Dallas last week, when I20 went down to 1 lane in Mississippi and everyone merged politely hundreds of yards before the lane ended. Everyone that is, except for one a-hole that tried to slip by, only to have a country boy in a jacked up pickup cut him off (maybe 10 cars behind me). It was amazing; traffic didn't stop, or jut a bunch, just slowed down a little and everyone moved on. First time I've ever seen a merge go well in the US.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2011, 12:21 PM
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My personal pet peeve are the a-holes who know there is an imminent lane merge coming and yet wait until the last possible second to merge and then try to force themselves into line.
I have the opposite problem.. When there is a construction lane closure, everyone in this area immediately stops and merges to the open lane as soon as they see the sign which might be a few miles back from the closure. It gets so bad it starts to block traffic lights and cause congestion miles before the actual closure. I tend to go straight to the merge point before merging because it makes better usage of the space, and I get dirty looks for it. Of course, if it is a normal street merge (non-construction), I agree with you, I plan my merge so as to be fluid and at-speed.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:28 AM
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American drivers are awful whether on the interstate or on city streets. In Chicago it is becoming routine to see morons pulling out from a parking lot who desire to cross a busy arterial road and turn left. The moron will pull out into traffic blocking one lane, then they inch out further and block another lane. After blocking traffic in two lanes going in the opposite direction to their desired direction they wait for an opening in traffic. Once they find the opening they then complete their left turn after blocking two lanes of traffic. Rational drivers when pulling out of parking lot onto a busy arterial road just turn right and go around the block to go in their desired direction.
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  #11  
Old 08-10-2011, 08:34 AM
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im not sure if its that most drivers dont know or just dont care. commuting i routinely have to pass people on the right cause the left 2 lanes are in use by a honda and an altima both going exactly 65 right next to eachother. the worst is when you have 3 lanes of traffic, and 3 cars all next to eachother at matching speeds. so frustrating
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  #12  
Old 08-10-2011, 01:03 PM
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In Chicago it is becoming routine to see morons pulling out from a parking lot who desire to cross a busy arterial road and turn left. The moron will pull out into traffic blocking one lane, then they inch out further and block another lane. After blocking traffic in two lanes going in the opposite direction to their desired direction they wait for an opening in traffic. Once they find the opening they then complete their left turn after blocking two lanes of traffic.
+1
Lots of good posts, but this one gets me really mad! Don't make your problem my problem! I also hate the people who are in a left turn lane, then sneak into the straight lane at the last minute.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:42 AM
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I blame it all on Suburbans, Tahoes and Yukon XLs driven by short people with no passengers. They are my road enemies.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:13 PM
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I blame it all on Suburbans, Tahoes and Yukon XLs driven by short people with no passengers. They are my road enemies.
Soccer moms on cell phones while doing their nails are mine. And if you think that is an exaggeration, drive around Scottsdale, AZ for a day!

I've had plenty of run ins with bad drivers in Germany.

Once on the A8 Munich to Salzburg, one Munich driver passed another Munich driver on the RIGHT!! The elderly fellow in the fast lane (who was driving far too slow) flipped out. He grabbed his camera, sped up, and started taking flash photos of the offender. He just about took out the offending car, himself, and me in the ensuing madness.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:12 AM
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One thing I did notice about Euro drivers that I found annoying was that they were IMHO overly aggressive passers on two lane roads. The margins they allowed themselves to complete a pass on a narrow mountain road with nothing but a few warning sticks between them and an life-ending trip over a 1000 drop-off or a head-on collision with another vehicle was a little unsettling at times.

I did my share of passing on these roads and the 335d instilled nothing but confidence in doing so, but I also wasn't in a hurry to be a statistic.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:35 AM
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If there is ONE thing I wished we used here in the states that they use in Europe that I loved most: Roundabouts. Absolutely, the most efficient traffic flow creation alternative to stop lights. Yes, you gotta have your wits about you on the big ones, but that so beats waiting and wastefully idling your life away at a red light.

Thanks for creating the thread. Love all the comments.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:09 PM
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If there is ONE thing I wished we used here in the states that they use in Europe that I loved most: Roundabouts. Absolutely, the most efficient traffic flow creation alternative to stop lights. Yes, you gotta have your wits about you on the big ones, but that so beats waiting and wastefully idling your life away at a red light.

Thanks for creating the thread. Love all the comments.
I agree, roundabouts everywhere and raise the speed limits, maybe we might get a bunch of idiots off the road from lack of driving skills!
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
One thing I did notice about Euro drivers that I found annoying was that they were IMHO overly aggressive passers on two lane roads. The margins they allowed themselves to complete a pass on a narrow mountain road with nothing but a few warning sticks between them and an life-ending trip over a 1000 drop-off or a head-on collision with another vehicle was a little unsettling at times.

I did my share of passing on these roads and the 335d instilled nothing but confidence in doing so, but I also wasn't in a hurry to be a statistic.
When I've seen that I generally assume it's a local who is more familiar with the road and exactly where they have to jump on the brakes.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
One thing I did notice about Euro drivers that I found annoying was that they were IMHO overly aggressive passers on two lane roads. The margins they allowed themselves to complete a pass on a narrow mountain road with nothing but a few warning sticks between them and an life-ending trip over a 1000 drop-off or a head-on collision with another vehicle was a little unsettling at times.

I did my share of passing on these roads and the 335d instilled nothing but confidence in doing so, but I also wasn't in a hurry to be a statistic.
I did see this too, and more so in Italy with some very tight squeezes. These people had balls to do some of the passes I saw and wouldn't have attempted.

I also noticed Italians had more of a tendency to ignore people at crosswalks. In Germany and so forth they stop for anyone, but in Italy they kept driving unless they were already in the street.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:03 PM
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I agree with everything in this post except the recommendation that 18 wheelers have a lower speed limit than cars on the interstate. They have this in IL (10 mph lower) and all it does is have them passing each other at an even slower speed.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:51 PM
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Thanks for all the posts to this thread. I am pleasantly surprised at some of the most logical, eloquent and longest posts on bimmerfest forum. It must have really touched a nerve in a lot of us.
I really like the notion that variable limits in germany is one of the reasons they are so attentiv . God I wish that could be duplicated here but I know the cops writing their chickenpoop tickets wouldn't know what to do if they couldn't hide out in a corner of a deserted road and nab one of us for going 10mph over the limit in an empty highway.
Roundabouts are great if you know what you are doing but in the US would mean worse traffic snarls as most everyone will wait till there are no cars in the roundabout till they enter.
As far as 18 wheelers being restricted with truck mounted gps systems like in europe, absolutely, it'll work. How many times have you encountered a caravan of trucks in the right lane going too fast for you to get ahead of them safely to exit safely. Plus this will allow the gaps to open up in the two lane highways so people can move over to the right to let faster traffic through.
Passing on one lane roads is a lost art. I often have to pass two or more cars trailing behind a truck on empty stretches because they think it's too dangerous a maneuver. If this happened in europe, no one would get anywhere.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:42 AM
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I agree with everything in this post except the recommendation that 18 wheelers have a lower speed limit than cars on the interstate. They have this in IL (10 mph lower) and all it does is have them passing each other at an even slower speed.
I don't think I've ever seen an 18 wheeler following the speed limit here....
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:04 AM
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We have a new roundabout where I live. Its not pretty. Imagine this- a giant monster truck SUV flying into and around the roundabout, and this SUV is filled with screaming kids and a soccer mom who is driving whilst talking on her cell phone and checking text messages, and hence oblivious to other cars, yield signs, and the concept of the turn signal.....multiply the number of these or similar vehicles by 1 thousand, and its a wonder anybody ever makes it through successfully!
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:02 AM
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We have a new roundabout where I live. Its not pretty. Imagine this- a giant monster truck SUV flying into and around the roundabout, and this SUV is filled with screaming kids and a soccer mom who is driving whilst talking on her cell phone and checking text messages, and hence oblivious to other cars, yield signs, and the concept of the turn signal.....multiply the number of these or similar vehicles by 1 thousand, and its a wonder anybody ever makes it through successfully!
You forgot to add that she then stops on the roundabout to let out someone from one of the side roads who then sits there looking at her like she's mad because they actually understand how a roundabout works.

I facepalm every time I see that at a roundabout close to the office.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:30 AM
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I have to struggle most days to 'let go' and accept things I cannot change. Deep breaths, etc. All the same my blood pressure suffers when I see combination turn and lane-change maneuvers.

Here in metro Phoenix most of the navigable land is covered by a 1 mile grid of 6-lane (3 each direction) major roads with traffic lights at each junction between those E-W and N-S grid roads. In any rational world someone turning right from the right-most lane would turn into the right-most lane of the road they are turning into. Similarly, anyone turning left would normally enter the junction and exit in the left-most lane of the road they are turning into. Such a common sense activity would allow drivers to turn right into a road while the opposing traffic is turning left into the same road and double the throughput of the junction.

Instead, many folks careen through the junction with one hand on the steering wheel and the other clutching a cellphone, a drink, a doughnut, makeup, or all juggling all four. Not having a fully rotating wrist joint they cannot turn the wheel sufficiently to make the turn and they combine a simple left or right turn with a wild drift across all lanes of their route and anyone creeping through making a controlled turn is in danger of getting side-swiped.


And while I am foaming at the mouth:....

We don't get much rain in these parts so curbs don't get the same natural washing that curbs elsewhere get. That will skew my following observation. I am shocked - SHOCKED - by the state of the curbs here. There isn't more than a 5yd stretch in all the Phoenix area which isn't scuffed with a black tire mark where some idiot has collided with the curb and been bounced back into traffic, usually with a huge over correction and lane swerve. This is even at the mid-point of a 1 mile arrow-straight road. How can anyone be so bad a driver that they collide with a curb at speed on a perfectly straight road??? Perhaps an accident every decade or so, but collectively the Phoenix drivers maintain a pretty uniform black color on all the curbs on all the roads all the time.

Frank.
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